Bogs here, taking a quick blog break in the middle of my relocating and occupational duties to comment on an outrageous incident that happened close to home.
I didn’t know they do criminal background checks on rape victims, did you? Well, they do, and they did, and a 21-year-old woman who was raped during a Tampa parade over the weekend spent two days in jail while her attacker roamed free.
To give you a little background, Tampa has been celebrating the invasion of a mythological pirate called Jose Gaspar for ages. Drunken men in pirate costumes – actually the area’s top doctors, lawyers and businessmen – sail in on a pirate ship and “invade” the town every year in an event known as Gasparilla.
During the festivities, the mayor surrenders and hands these invaders the key to the city. Then kiddies compete alongside girls flashing their titties for the plastic beads and other trinkets the salty seadogs toss as they parade down the thoroughfare. And that’s just the daytime parade. The nighttime version, two weeks later, is far more rowdy.
Suffice it to say, there's a lot of drinking and a lot of flesh during Gasparilla.
The woman mentioned above was walking down the street – this is a rather affluent area, I might add, not “the hood” – when she was pulled into an alley and raped in broad daylight. When she sought help, police discovered an old warrant for her arrest and took her to jail. She was denied bail for two days
It turns out the warrant was erroneously issued when the woman was a teen, so her arrest was due to a clerical error that was never corrected.
In jail, the woman was denied her second dose of the Morning After pill by a medical supervisor, who cited religious objections. The pill prevents conception if taken within 72 hours of the act (two pills are required, and the victim had already taken one). Some people, apparently including the jail's medical supervisor and many pharmacists nationwide, believe using this pill is a form of abortion, and refuse to dispense it.
The police were probably following procedure in arresting and jailing the woman right off the bat. Fortunately, this incident has sparked a change to that highly questionable procedure.
The medical supervisor, on the other hand, is a misguided moron who should lose her job. It doesn’t seem like the right job for her anyway, seeing as her beliefs render her unable to fulfill its duties.
Not surprisingly, there is already talk about a lawsuits stemming from the woman’s arrest and the circumstances of her incarceration.
But I have an alternative penalty to suggest, at least for the medico: On the chance the rape victim should conceive as a result of her assault, the medico should be forced to provide financial support to the victim's child until he/she reaches 18. Same goes for those pharmacists. It seems a just and germane punishment, and it’s a much bigger financial commitment than any lawsuit is likely to garner.